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Many of you may know Heather and KO, but you may not know their story.  I asked them a while back to tell their story because it really illustrates a great example of support, commitment and overcoming obstacles to make a change not just for a day, or a week, but for a lifetime.

They were kind enough to share their journey (so far*) so here it is in their own words.

*this was from several months ago, and they’re kicking even more ass now!

Kailun and Heather Ostheimer
We were both multi-sport athletes in high school and kept an active lifestyle through college, but as time passed we  slowly became less active and more sedentary. We realized we had to make a change, but weren’t real
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sure how to do it. We had signed up for gym memberships in the past,
but were not successful as there was nothing to keep us motivated and going to the gym. The winter of 2014 we both surpassed our heaviest weights and had a life changing event that caused us to reevaluate our lifestyle.
We change our lifestyle in two stages.

Stage 1…..Eat like crap = feel like crap

Changing the way we ate. Although we thought we ate  fairly healthy, we had gotten into a rut of the same quick prep foods and a lot of eating out.   We were recommended the Paleo Nick website, as my aunt is friends with him, and found some recipes we thought looked really good. The only way to get the recipes was to
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sign-up for a monthly membership. We decided in that moment that we were going to give cooking Paleo a try for one month and see how we liked the food. We fell in love with the food. It is so much more flavorful then the processed quick prep junk that we were eating.
As of February 1, 2015 we cleaned out our fridge, freezer and cupboards of all processed unnatural foo
ds and went to eating only clean whole foods. Thechanges in our energy, joints, stomach were extreme and the thought of going back to eating crap and feeling horrible was not an option. We have never counted calories or watched proportions while changing lifestyles, just making sure that the food we eat are clean and healthy.

Stage 2…if you don’t use it you lose

Get active. In the past we had tried gym memberships and knew it wasn’t our answer, it was the dead of winter, so outdoor activities were limited. We knew multiple people that raved about CrossFit, so we decided that was our answer. We walked into our first concepts class, nervous and not sure what we just signed up for…. we left…. tired, sore, challenged and excited for the next class. By the time of our last concept class we were addicted, we already noticed we were overcoming obstacles and seeing progress. We have continued to go to the gym 3 times a week and every week we accomplis
h something we never thought was possible. The My Town coaches and community has so much to do with our success, as they are always encouraging, pushing our boundaries and letting us know that we are not alone in the journey.
At the beginning of our journey we gave ourselves 3 months to dedicate to eating completely clean and stay true to being active 3 days a week. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we knew that the changes were not going to happen overnight, but in those initial 3 months the changes we felt and saw not only physically, but mentally and emotionally are unexplainable. We are so grateful to have changed our lifestyle and are so excited to see where this journey takes us.

After reading this, I just had to dig a little deeper and see what the journey has been like thus far, I mean all these good things are great, but we need the dirt…So here’s how they responded:

  • What has been the most challenging in regards to diet, exercise and/or lifestyle?

    • Kailun – “At first the hardest part was giving up all of the junk food that had tasted so good. Also, trying to muster up the energy and courage to go the gym. After a while of eating clean, junk food was no longer a problem because it made me feel horrible, and going to the gym was the best way for me to keep energized and focused. “
    • Heather – “Our schedule, part of the goal of our journey was to do this together. Our schedules our very different making it tough to find time together and changing our lifestyle adds complications to that, especially that we try to schedule our gym time at the same time. Clean eating also means more planning, shopping and food prep time.”
  • What accomplishments are you most excited about?

    • Kailun – “At the gym, the rope climb and pull-ups were a big accomplishment and I am looking forward to taking that success to muscle-ups and handstand walks. Physically, I am excited to see the scale drop to below 200 lbs, I haven’t been there since Junior year of High School. ”
    • Heather – “For me it is all about the little successes, each week I am noticing something I was not able to do the week before. An example is push-ups, as simple as it sounds, it has been a huge battle for me. When I started I had to us a 32” box and half way through a work-out I was only doing negatives, then I moved to a 24” box, then I moved to push-ups on the floor on my knees with a resistance band, then knee push-ups, I can know string together 8 unbroken push-ups from my toes and am able to do knee push-ups for an entire WOD. I have seen similar progression in my pull-ups as well. Each small step forward is a big success for me”
  • Aside from fat loss, what have been some of the benefits from your change in diet and exercise?

    • Kailun – “I have more energy, I feel healthier and I don’t struggle doing everyday tasks anymore. I fit into my clothes better and I am feeling comfortable in my own skin again.”
    • Heather – “I have really noticed that I have less aches and pains, I am more flexible than I have ever been, which still isn’t flexible, and I have minimal stomach issues which were at one point a daily battle.”
  • So you guys are eating clean, have lost a lot of fat, gotten a lot more fit, so you probably don’t have fun anymore, right?

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    • Kailun – “Going to the gym is fun! Getting my ass kicked has never been so much fun. With all the energy we have gained from working out and eating healthy we are able to do more things like riding our bikes, jogging, walking, hiking, etc. Seeing my body change is also fun and will continue to be fun to see what my body can do.”
    • Heather – “Never in my life did I think I would become addicted to getting my ass kicked by a work-out. It took very little time for us to fall in love with the lifestyle. The eating clean and working out is just a part of it, the My Town community plays a gigantic part as well.”
  • What advice would you give someone struggling getting started?

    • Kailun – “Don’t expect immediate results. Fitness is not a race, it’s a marathon. Start slow and ease into it. , what you eat fuels your body and the better you eat the longer, stronger and further your body can go. It might be hard to see the end of the tunnel at first, but realize, every good eating choice and every time you decide to go for a walk instead of sitting on the couch being lazy, may be one more day you get to live and walk this earth. Nobody is perfect so cheating once in a while won’t hurt and it may be your way of rewarding yourself. Every healthy choice you make is an investment into your body for long-term use.”
    • Heather – “Give into the process, realize it is going to take some time, but track and pay attention to your progress and celebrate every small success along the way. Learn to LOVE being sore, because you EARNED it and DON’T let your soreness stop you from returning to the gym. Being sore is a sign of being successful and accomplishment at the gym.”